trouble is, im not sure which package to get.
I'd recommend starting low, based on only your RAM usage requirements, and then working up, if need be. VDS upgrades are easy to do and only result in a prorated payment (or nothing, during the free trial).
but i didnt fine any reference to clock speeds in any of the faqs, just that is is Nehalem or better; does that mean we get at least 2.66ghz, or ?
The exact base clock speed varies, and some machines have turbo, as well. The most common machine right now is an L5640 (2.26ghz, turbo to 2.8ghz), which is quite fast, but some machines are even faster.
All of these CPUs will easily beat your current one in terms of performance per core.
also, the faq said you rent hyperthreaded cores. what i think you mean is one thread of a physical hyperthreaded core; can you confirm? in other words, if i want the equivalent of an single physical core (2 threads), i need a "2 core" server.
. However, two hyperthreads here will likely be more than a single physical core for you (and closer to two), because of the way we load-balance.
if i rent a 2 core server, do you place the threads on the same cpu physical core, or is it more random?
It's a bit more sophisticated than that. Cores are assigned based on load and can change as the machine balances itself.
We haven't seen CPU load problems for any customers yet on our machines, due to the machines being so underloaded.
all that said, i suspect the speed/core issue might be irrelevant compared to the memory limitation. to that end im just not sure how i will be impacted going from 4gb to 2gb.
I'd recommend checking this out in the task manager while your current server set is running. You should add up how much all of the servers use, then add at least a few hundred megabytes for the OS and some basic caching.
The more RAM, the better, of course -- cache really comes in handy for speeding up level loads.
any guidance on how many slots/core people have experience running on say TF2, L4D2, CSS or even kf? (keeping cpu utilization at about the 50% rate)? the 1-3 game servers per core in the order page really doesnt tell me much; it would be more informative if you spec'd slots for a particular game (or series of games).
Even within a game, there is significant variance depending on how loaded the servers will be, the plugins that will be run on the server, the OS that will be used, and other options (replay, sourcetv, etc). It can be very difficult to predict ahead of time what resources a specific customer will require, so we keep the numbers general.
During the 2-day free trial, the performance is something you should become more in tune with. Start low and upgrade if need be.
finally, it seems from the faq that moving up or down in cores is seamless; anyone have any experience with this? i assume the os/files/ etc. remain untouched. i may try a 1 core for the 2 day trial to see what it can do, and scale from there.
Upgrading is pretty painless. The only thing that slows things down is when a server has to be moved to a new machine because the original one does not have the capacity to contain it, in which case there is a delay for the copy. If a delay might be a problem, I recommend contacting us about it to see if it will actually need to occur.